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December 19 – No room in the inn

Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Scripture reading: Luke 2:1-7

Joseph talked to the innkeeper. The innkeeper claimed that there were no open rooms in the inn in Bethlehem. Can the innkeeper be charged with cruelty? Maybe Roman officials and guests were in town and had filled the inn to overflowing. Joseph was desperate. He has no relatives in town who can show hospitality to him and his very pregnant wife. And there is no room in the inn. There is no room for Christ in the hearts of fallen men. It was predicted that the Messiah would be rejected by men.

Joseph leads his pregnant wife to a cave that is a stable on the edge of town. In such unsanitary conditions, Mary begins to give birth to the Desire of the nations. Are animals present? If so, in addition to the sound of animals, there is soon also the shrill voice of a crying baby boy. The new mother smiles weakly at her healthy baby boy.

Attempts are made to romanticize the stable. But it is all shameful. This is the first step in the Messiah’s state of humiliation. He is in the legal state of being guilty for the sins of His people. The first step in His state of humiliation is that He endures the shame of being born in a crude stable. Jesus will be the suffering Servant of the Lord. It is fitting that at the two extremes of Jesus’ life are a stable and a cross. He was born in a barn and would die on an accursed tree.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would be willing to identify with and suffer with a Saviour Who is despised by the cultured elite. Celebrate that God has made room for us in Paradise.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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